Germany is set to introduce Covid protocols that will include unvaccinated people being barred from various culture and leisure venues.
The expected move comes as the country is up against a heavy fourth wave of the pandemic, with more than 70,000 cases reported in the last 24 hours, the highest figures Germany has recorded to date.
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Restrictions will see only people who have been vaccinated, or those who can evidence a recent recovery from the virus, able to go into restaurants, pubs, cinemas, gyms, cultural events and non-essential shops. The protocols are already in place in several German regions with the highest cases.
The tightening of restrictions puts more pressure on large-scale cultural events such as the Berlin International Film Festival, which is due to run February 10-20.
As Deadline reported yesterday, the festival has been analysing contingency plans, but was already prepping for a so-called ‘2G’ event that will see admission only granted to vaccinated or recently-recovered people.
Today, the fest told us it is anticipating mask wearing to be compulsory during the event, potentially not limited to indoors, and that in a handful cinemas capacities may have to be reduced. It is currently assessing whether the rules will dictate mandatory testing for vaccinated attendees.
It was also confirmed today that a vote will take place on whether vaccines should become mandatory in the country from February. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is transitioning from government after her party lost the most recent election, has previously said she would vote against compulsory vaccination but has since reversed that decision. The move follows neighbor Austria announcing it will make vaccines mandatory from February, while Greece has said it will do the same for the over 60s, with fines being introduced for those who don’t comply.
Under 70% of Germany’s population is fully vaccinated, lower than the number of other major European nations such as the UK and France, which experts have pointed to as a factor in the recent wave of positive cases.
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